Seize the Day

Forest Magic 

Forest Magic 

Today is all you have. The past is behind you and the future is unknown. This moment is where life is lived, not in yesterday or tomorrow. Each day offers opportunities that will never come again. Your choices and decisions will color not only this day, but also cast their shadows on coming days. Remember, too, that by not making a choice, you are really making a choice, and that choice always has unforeseen consequences. 

Procrastination, putting off till tomorrow what should be done today, steals precious opportunities. Procrastination produces guilt because you know you should do something but you don’t. Instead, choose to value your time by doing what needs to be done right now, and live fully in each moment.

Be aware that there are hidden depths and dimensions in each day, unique to that day. Yes, there will be other opportunities on other days, but this day lived well will reward you with its own special joys.

Procrastination is the thief of time.
Edward Young

Living is a constant process of deciding what we are going to do.
Jose Ortega y Gasset

This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Real generosity toward the future consists in giving all to what is present.
Albert Camus

May you live all the days of your life.
Jonathan Swift

We look backward too much and we look forward too much; thus we miss the only eternity of which we can be absolutely sure—the eternal present, for it is always now.
William Phelps

To bring to the place where you live only the best and most beautiful—what a plan for life!
Howard Thurman

• Set a simple goal for today and achieve that goal. Reward yourself with a small pleasure when you achieve the goal.

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
Dale Carnegie

Listening Presence

It has been said, “prayer is the fullness of attention.” When we’re completely paying attention, when we’re completely present in a moment, completely listening at all levels, we’re praying. 
—Cynthia Bourgeault

I have been in the midst of a life-changing transition. I think most of us are going through something similar. All of the familiar old ways are disappearing. The new that is coming in is not yet clearly defined. I’m beginning to see the outlines of new possibilities, starting with the potential my Internet presence presents. A new infrastructure is in the process of being built, showing a form that might bring all of my gifts and talents together to bless others and support me. But there are more questions than answers right now. It’s been like a long winter of the soul. Yet signs of spring are beginning to emerge. 

There are times in life when there is little that we can do and the only option is to trust in an unseen grace. But even in this darkest night, there is the light and energy of grace—God’s love carrying us and sustaining us in the midst of turmoil and trouble. It is in the time that we feel most helpless that we realize there is an unseen power that runs like a river of grace through our lives, carrying us on a current of love. 

Grace unfolds incrementally. Lasting change is generated by small, simple daily choices. A small transforming choice, multiplied by daily practice, and nurtured by continued affirmative thought and prayer can change the trajectory of a life, just as a small adjustment in course will eventually take an ocean liner on another path altogether.

I propose to you that there is a spiritual reality that holds a larger story than the one you have been living by. It holds out a hope more wonderful than you can yet realize. You can discover clues to its existence, learn to find ways to access it and make it real in your own life. 

Here are suggestions for accessing inner wisdom and grace in your life. 

• Be present. 
There is no time in God’s highest purposes. All is connected, all one. Your connection to the fullness of God is found in the here and now. Be present in this moment. Take a deep breath. Come into stillness. Take your time instead of trying to make things happen. There is a natural rhythm to life. Being present in the moment makes you more available to that natural rhythm of grace. Choose to trust a deeper wisdom. Surrender to what is so you can open to what can be. Put your hand over your heart and feel its mighty steady beat. That is the heartbeat of grace carrying you through your day. 

• Be passionate.
Do not mistake urgency for passion. Urgency feels like an emergency. Passion flows with effortless energy. Let what you love rise from the depths of your being. Listen to its insistent song. This is your intuitive guidance system leading you out of the wilderness of frantic fear and crazed attempts to control the uncontrollable. Imagine yourself surrounded by God’s love and light, experiencing and doing everything with a sense of being present to the moment. Live in God’s highest truth, knowing that facts change, but truth is constant.

• Release the pain to embrace your inner power.
Pain body memories and old stories are life draining. They make you afraid to hope and entangle you in negative beliefs and expectations. Are you re-enacting old stories and scenarios in your mind? Or are you coming from the center of who you really are? Listen. Then choose simple actions that come from a place of power and presence, trusting that God is gently guiding you. Do your best, leave the rest up to God. Trust your heart’s quiet wisdom instead of your chattering ego-based mind. 

• Cultivate a practice of prayer. 
Develop your intimacy with the Divine through prayer. Connect to the world within to transform the world without. Pray affirmatively for yourself and others. Create a prayer list that you update regularly. Visualize light and love surrounding those you pray for, and around the concerns and problems of your life. Pray for peace and prosperity, knowing the highest truth for all. What you pray for others you are also praying for yourself, for everything is one in the Divine nature. 

Embracing a new way of approaching your life is both death and rebirth. It is a death to our old definitions of self and the defenses we used to protect our old beliefs. It is a birth into a new self that is open, receptive, and believes that anything is possible, for our potential arises from the vastness within. We are able to hear something new, think more expansively, and become a place where greater consciousness develops.

Every profound innovation is based on an inward-bound journey, on going to a deeper place where knowing comes to the surface. 
—W. Brian Arthur


• When I listen to my heart I am guided into peace, prosperity, and plenitude. 
• I discover new ways to serve life with love and joy.
• I lovingly give my best gifts to the world.
• This is more than just a job, it’s a love affair.
• I listen to my heart and it leads me where I want to go. 
• There is that within me that knows what to do and how to do it.
• I am open to new ideas, new people, and new possibilities.
• Any day I create more order, harmony, and beauty is a good day.
• God is my Source so anything is possible. 
• I always choose love over fear. Always. 

We know that each one of us is a center of this Divine Life, in this Perfect Peace, this Complete Happiness, and this Absolute Wholeness; and we know that this Perfection—which is the center of our very being—is projected into every atom of our being. 
—Ernest Holmes

Introducing an inspiring friend: 

My friend Linda has been on a creative adventure. She’s now the proud author of a delightful book. For the Love of Lauren: Diary of a Young Girl is told in the first person. Childlike wisdom permeates this book, because the story not only tells of Lauren and her adventures in a small Southern town, it speaks to the heart of anyone who has felt lonely or become frustrated by being told “you’ll understand when you are older.” You’ll be immersed in magic when you open the pages of this classic-in-the-making. Whether you’re young or young at heart, you’ll love Lauren, too. 

The author draws on her girlhood memories and a mystical imagination. She says, “When I first started to write the Lauren stories I was patterning them after a gift someone had given to me when I was ten years old. It was a bedtime storybook, and I was so insulted at such a childish gift, at first. Then, when I actually took the time to read the stories, well... they touched my heart so much that I just fell in love with them, and the feelings of those gentle stories are still with me today. I decided to call Lauren's first book her diary, and give the stories a chance to be read by anyone ages six to ninety-six. After all, that little child who deserves to be known is still within us all, just waiting to share their great treasures of youth...As Lauren's Nona always said, ‘Words are magical!’”

Learn more about For the Love of Lauren at:


  1. May 1, 2009 8:15 AM CDT

    Thank you Candy for these inspiring words...

    - Lauren


What to Do While You're Expecting Miracles

With God, all things are possible.
Matthew 19:26

I had a choice to make when I woke up this morning. I could panic about my current problems or I could choose to focus on positive action. It’s easy to panic, especially in times like these. It seems all the headlines of fear and calamity are not only screaming at you, they are also being amplified by the voice in your head. I don’t know about you, but that scary voice in my head can quickly drown out common sense, dragging me down to being a whimpering child trying to hide her head under the covers. Being naturally prone to drama (especially in my mental movie theater!) I can get pretty creative with worst-case scenarios. That kind of drama belongs in the pages of a novel or on the silver screen, not in my life. What I need most in times like these is a more positive approach. Worry only makes me freeze in fear or want to run away and hide. 

So what do I do on those days when fear, doubt, and worry are ready to overwhelm me? I change my patterns of thought. Instead of wasting energy on imagining how bad it can get, I go to the Source. I go to God. I pray affirmative prayers. I quiet my mind and reconnect with my true spiritual essence. I remember that I am one with God, and that the Divine within is greater than any problem or challenge I face. I feed my spirit with helpful reading. I pray for others on a regular basis. I write in my morning pages journal to process my thoughts, feelings, and get the negatives out of my system. I practice gratitude for the blessings I already have and thank God for the blessings to come. And then I take action.

Today it was the simple action of vacuuming the dust bunnies out from under my bed. I’ve let cleaning go lately, and now the dust bunnies are starting to have baby dust bunnies. It’s a dust bunny population explosion! As I clean my house, I also feel like I’m clearing dust bunnies from my mind. A simple action like cleaning, sorting, or straightening can make you feel better. It reminds you that you are not helpless, but can make choices to make life better in small yet concrete ways.

And my next choice is to work on a project instead of delaying it. The project needs to be done. Becoming absorbed in useful work is good medicine in itself. When the work is done, you have a finished product that you can take pride in. 

I may also choose to gather with like-minded people and connect to a spiritual community. I normally take a spiritual growth class at my church, Nashville Center for Spiritual Living. I have sought out the mutual encouragement of songwriter nights. It was an essential way to become part of the music community when I first moved to Nashville. I met extraordinary friends and co-writers at writer's events. Though I don't go to as many writer's nights as I once did, I still like to see friends perform when I can. 

It’s vitally important to find a mutual encouragement society, whether it is a church, a class, a support group, or a circle of friends. I meet regularly with my prayer partners, and I value a weekly lunch date with a wise and encouraging friend. Spiritual progress may begin with an individual inner choice, but it’s not a Lone Ranger path. You need to find fellow pilgrims who can share the journey. It’s not only a way to receive, it’s a way to give back. 

Finally, because this day is one where I feel the temptation to go down the worry hole more strongly, I’m saying an affirmative prayer aloud. It’s a prayer that reminds me of who I am and the many ways the Divine Presence is with me; working in, through, and for me, guiding me into greater good than I can yet imagine. 

On days when I don’t have specific solutions to my problems, or am waiting for results to come from work I’ve already done, I open my heart and mind to the possibility that God can do something new—knowing I am not limited by past experience or bound by fears of the future. Right here, right now, I can choose my response to life. I choose wholeness over fear, faith over doubt. I can choose to trust that in this period of quiet gestation, miracles are getting ready to be born. 

Affirmative Prayer

This is a prayer treatment by Ernest Holmes that I am using right now to help me remember that God is my Source. With God, anything is possible! My minister, Dr. Mitch Johnson, says that this prayer has been helpful to him during difficult times. Say it aloud several times a day. It’s one way to focus your mind on possibilities instead of dwelling on problems and impossibilities. 

I Have Great Expectations
by Dr. Ernest Holmes

Knowing that there is a creative principle that reacts to that which I entertain in thought, I now establish in my thinking an attitude of expectancy of good things. I let go of the limitations of the past and live with an enthusiastic expectancy of the good that I will encounter today. I know that nothing is too good to be true and that nothing is too much for the power that can do anything. I expect the unexpected to happen and believe in a greater good than I have yet experienced. I keep my mind open to divine intuition, which is the wisdom that guides me. I have every right to expect the unexpected. New ideas are coming to me, new ways of doing things. I am meeting new and wonderful friends, new situations. Joyous things are happening to me. Divine Intelligence knows exactly what to do, when to do it, and fulfills my life in magnificent and creative ways effortlessly through grace.
Thank you God that this is so. 
And so it is. 

Introducing an inspiring friend: 

I recently attended a wonderful workshop. Dr. Dennis Merritt Jones definitely knows how to practice the art of abundance and he showed us fresh ways to become aware of God at work in our lives right here and now. He led us through creative mindfulness exercises during the afternoon, encouraging us to understand and experience the sacredness of life. One of my favorite exercises helped us become aware of the sensuous interconnectedness of all things. By simply peeling and slowly savoring an orange, you are connecting to all the people who brought this fruit to you: the farmer, the worker who picked the orange, the trucker who transported it to the store where you bought it, the clerk who sold it to you, and so on. Not only that, but the orange your are eating today connects you to a history of ideas and generations, often going back over a hundred years to the idea in the mind of the landowner who planted the first orange trees long before you were born. Someone who lived before you had a positive idea that is still affecting lives today. What creative idea or service can you contribute to making the world a better place?

I highly recommend his book, The Art of Being. Dennis says, “Each of the writings in The Art of Being are supported with Mindfulness Practices, offering action steps to implement the essence taught within the writing, turning ideas into action and every moment into a sacred experience. Ultimately, the understanding at which the reader will arrive is that spiritually, the art of being is actually a lifestyle, practiced daily. It is a way of walking our sacred earth every day.”

You can purchase his book at your local bookstore: The Art of Being: 101 Ways to Practice Purpose in Your Life by Dennis Merritt Jones (©2008 Tarcher/Putnam) or at and other retailers. 
Visit his website: